BEIJING (Reuters) - China’s Finance Minister Xiao Jie, who attended last week’s G20 meeting, warned that momentum seen in the global economy could be curbed by policy uncertainties and the rise of protectionism.
G20 finance ministers and central bankers, in their communique issued following a gathering in the German resort town of Baden-Baden, dropped a pledge to keep global trade free and open, acquiescing to an increasingly protectionist United States.
Instead, they merely made a token reference to trade in their main communique by saying the G20 would work together to strengthen the contribution of trade to their economies.
“Markets are currently worried about the uncertain policies of some developed economies, and are concerned that the rise of protectionism could adversely affect the (global) economic recovery,” Xiao said, according to a post on the Chinese central bank’s website late on Monday.
He did not identify the developed economies.
By contrast, at the gathering in the Chinese city of Hangzhou in September last year, G20 leaders agreed to work harder to build an open world economy, reject protectionism, and promote global trade and investment.
To ensure the continued recovery of the global economy, countries should conscientiously implement the outcome of the Hangzhou summit, strengthen macroeconomic policy coordination, keep promoting global trade and investment, and oppose all forms of protectionism, Xiao said.
In the same post, the People’s Bank of China’s Governor Zhou Xiaochuan, who was also in Baden-Baden for the G20 event, said the Chinese economy was in good shape overall, and reiterated that monetary policy would remain prudent and neutral.
Reporting by Ryan Woo; editing by Ralph Boulton